Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, there’s no place like home.L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
Anyone who has spent even five minutes exploring my blog will know that I love to travel. The world is full of wonderful places to explore! But I have to admit that there are some pretty wonderful places right on my doorstep too.
And Anne’s Lens Artists challenge this week gives me an excuse to share some of them. I’ll avoid the most obvious, London itself. I’ve posted several times in the past about how much I love my home city, and it pops up regularly in my monthly highlight posts. So today I thought I’d share a few of the places on the western edges of the city, near our home in Ealing.
We’re fortunate to live only a few miles from this beautiful park, home to Syon House (the London home of the Duke of Northumberland). It was landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century. As well as the parkland there is an enclosed garden with a lovely lake and striking conservatory. Local residents get discounted admission to the house and garden. We tend only to visit the house if we have visitors keen to see inside. For the most part we are content to walk in the gardens, and perhaps stop for a coffee in the old stable yard. There’s also an excellent garden centre so we can take plants home for our own small patch too!
Also just a few miles away are the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Admission here has got quite pricy in recent years; long gone are the days when you could famously get ‘in for a penny’. Still, we do like to visit from time to time.
Kew also has some lovely walks by the Thames, and there’s no need to pay even a penny to enjoy these! Historic Strand on the Green is a favourite stretch, with several excellent pubs to provide refreshment on our walks. OK, I admit it; if you pop into one of these it will cost you more than a penny!
Other Thames-side walks
Kew is not the only place for riverside walks. We have Brentford just down the road from us, although it has to be said that the Thames isn’t at its prettiest there. But a little further west is Isleworth and the Richmond, while to the east there is a nice selection of riverside pubs in Hammersmith.
I could take you further afield, to Osterley Park or Bushey Park perhaps. But I hope this is enough to show that, much as I love my travels, there is always somewhere nice to come home to.
It’s the nature of local places that we visit often, so these photos were taken on a variety of dates; it’s unsurprising therefore that the weather and seasons vary so much!